Seeing The Wood From The Trees – National Tree Week

Seeing The Wood From The Trees – National Tree Week

Photo: Birmingham Botanical Garden

Seeing The Wood From The Trees – National Tree Week

With the COP26 conference ending this week now is the time to put words into action and celebrate National Tree Week the UK’s largest annual tree celebration. The anniversary marks the start of the winter tree planting season starting on Saturday 27 November until Sunday 5 December.

The Conference renewed their focus on the importance of regenerating the world’s natural forests and that trees have a major part to play in saving the environment. Trees are the lungs of the earth and suck up the carbon admissions removing approximately 7.6 billion tons of carbon—roughly 20 percent of global emissions—from the atmosphere each year. Over 100 countries pledged to halt the deforestation of the world’s forests however according to data announced by the Global Carbon Project, global fossil CO2 emissions are expected to grow 4.9 percent in 2021—almost erasing the 5.4 percent COVID-related decline in 2020. Coal and gas use this year are actually expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels.

This can make you feel helpless but everyone from world leaders down to us as individuals can pay a part in saving our planet. As part of the Queens Platinum Jubilee schools can receive a tree free from the Woodland Trust free to plant.

Called The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) it is a tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Everyone across the UK is being invited to plant trees from October 2021, when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.

The Queen’s Green Canopy will create a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands in honour of The Queen’s service and the legacy she has built.
This will create a green legacy of its own, with every tree planted bringing benefits for people, wildlife and climate, now and for the future.

Other ways to inspire your students is to take them on a school trip and there are many places offering great days out as well as online learning throughout the United Kingdom.

Spark their imagination and learn about the huge variety of trees by visiting the Birmingham Botanical Gardens which is home to hundreds of different tree species from all around the world. Some rare, some record-breaking and one that can be found nowhere else on Earth! Visit the Gardens during National Tree Week (or any other week) to experience just how amazing trees are.

The protection of wetlands is another way too of conserving out environment and Pensthorpe Nature Reserve near Fakenham, Norfolk is an inspirational place to visit.
Their education packages will make good use of the park by combining short indoor activities with plenty of outdoor exploring. Choose from their ‘Discover’ range of activities including ‘Discover Trees’ that have been designed using the national curriculum as a guideline whilst appreciating the need for practical, hands-on interactions to stimulate learning.

Yorkshire is home to Dalby the great Yorkshire forest which is a great resource for a school trip. The Forestry Commission have an online one stop shop for secondary teachers looking for ideas and information on how trees and forests can play an important role in combating climate change and the biodiversity crisis. For more information on the activities provided click on their climate change factsheet https://www.ukclimaterisk.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/CCRA3-Young-Persons-Factsheet.pdf

The Forestry Commission are working on more resources to add and are seeking teachers and educators with a particular interest in the outcomes of COP26 to work them. They are looking for contributors from schools to help them create more thought provoking and engaging resources for young people.

For more information please email learning.england@forestryengland.uk.

Give your students an experience to remember by visiting a Field Study Centre near your school. The Field Studies Council have sites all over the United Kingdom offering outstanding school field trips both residential and for day trips where your students can get involved and engaged in the outdoors, taking part in hands-on, safe experiences. https://www.field-studies-council.org/primary-school-trips/

The Centre for Alternative Technology is an eco-centre in Powys, mid-Wales, is one of the most memorable and interesting places to visit. Dedicated to demonstrating and teaching sustainable development, CAT established in 1973 despite its name, no longer concentrates its efforts exclusively on alternative technology, but provides information on all aspects of sustainable living. Sign up for their webinars

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